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Houston v. Harris

United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division, Cincinnati

January 12, 2018

RAJ HOUSTON, Petitioner,
v.
CHAE HARRIS, Warden, Warren Correctional Institution Respondent.

          Michael R. Barrett District Judge.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS

          MICHAEL R. MERZ, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         This is a habeas corpus case brought pro se by Petitioner Raj Houston to obtain relief from his conviction in the Hamilton County Common Pleas Court for kidnapping. Robbery, aggravated robbery, theft of a motor vehicle, and having weapons while under a disability (Petition, ECF No. 1, PageID 1, ¶ 5.) Houston pleads two grounds for relief.

Ground One: Ineffective Assistance of Appellate Counsel
Supporting Facts: Appellate and trial counsel were both ineffective due to failing to raise several major issues in my case. Appellate counsel failed to object to defendant/appellant being viewed by the jury in jailhouse clothes while handcuffed and shackled denying defendant/appellants right to due process and fair trial. Also Appellate counsel failed to raise trial counsels ineffectiveness for failing to object to improper jury instructions and for failing to object to Prosecutorial Misconduct for a Brady Violation, rendering Appellants trial fundamentally unfair in violation of the constitutions of Ohio and United States. Lastly Appellate counsel failed to raise trial counsels ineffectiveness for failing to properly prepare for trial by failing to obtain a full discovery, denying appellant the right to notice and decide if he is going to proceed to trial or consider the plea offered by the state.
Ground Two: The trial court erred in imposing on Mr. Houston consecutive maximum sentences.
Supporting Facts: Double jeopardy and allied offenses forbades [sic] the law from sentencing Mr. Houston to the maximum on all charges.

(Petition, ECF No. 1, PageID 5-6).

         The case is before the Court on Respondent's Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 10). Mr. Houston has filed a Response in Opposition (ECF No. 11).

         The Warden argues the Petition is barred by the habeas corpus statute of limitations, 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d). He also argues consideration of the merits of Houston's claims is barred by his procedural default in presenting them to the state courts. Houston disagrees with both defenses.

         Analysis

         The habeas corpus statute of limitations, 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d), provides:

(1) A 1-year period of limitation shall apply to an application for a writ of habeas corpus by a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court. The limitation period shall run from the latest of -
(A) the date on which the judgment became final by the conclusion of direct review or the expiration of the time ...

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